FORT GEORGE G. MEADE, Md. (Aug. 9, 2012) -- Chaplain (Col.) Carl Rau would rather not be the center of attention.
When the new garrison chaplain was told that SoundOff! wanted to publish a profile on him to introduce him to the Fort Meade community, Rau insisted that several garrison chaplains join him in the interview to talk about their respective ministries.
"I really don't want a big, full article on me," Rau said. "I want it on all the religious support these gentlemen and others give."
Rau, who began his tenure at Fort Meade on July 2, previously served at the Pentagon for four years on both the Army G-1 staff and the Army Chief of Chaplains staff.
Chaplain (Lt. Col.) Sid A. Taylor, who served as the garrison chaplain for one year, is now the deputy garrison chaplain.
"I've inherited a very good situation from Chaplain Taylor," Rau said. "The more I learn about the installation, the more I say kudos and congratulations to Chaplain Taylor. ... He had a great supportive staff."
In his 24 years as an Army chaplain, Rau said he has never been assigned to an installation before with such a diverse selection of religious services.
Fort Meade's Religious Services Office offers 22 daily and weekly worship services that accommodate nine different faiths. A staff of five chaplains, five chaplain assistants and four staff members provide support to congregants, as well as to partner organizations on post.
Rau said he has attended eight of the nine worship services and is impressed.
"The congregations are amazing," he said. "God is alive and well in the people."
During the interview, Rau highlighted the contributions of Chaplain (Maj.) Dean Darroux, the former director of pastoral ministries who left Fort Meade on Tuesday to serve at Fort Story, near Virginia Beach.
Darroux also led the Argonne Hills Chapel Center Protestant Gospel Service, which was named the 2011 Volunteer Organization of the Year in the spring.
"He's done a wonderful and great job," Rau said.
Rau also mentioned the work of Chaplain (Maj. ) Mark Jacobs, director of the Family Life Ministry at Argonne Hills, who supervises several pastoral interns from the Pastoral Counseling and Spiritual Care Department at Loyola University in Columbia. The interns, who are pursuing either a master's or doctoral degree, volunteer as pastoral counselors in the Family Life Ministry program for nine months to a year.
"It helps me grow as a supervisor in guiding and assisting other young counselors," Jacobs said.
Rau also highlighted the worship services for Jewish service members, their families and civilian employees that are led by Rabbi Levi Finkelstein.
The Islamic service across the hall is led by Fort Meade Public Affairs Officer Chad Jones.
Rau also noted Chaplain (Maj.) Boguslaw Augustyn, the garrison's Catholic priest, and his spiritual leadership of three vibrant Catholic congregations.
Rau urges members of the Fort Meade community who do not have a home church to visit a worship service on post.
"They need to experience one of the nine worship services," he said. "Each one is exciting."
For the first 30 to 60 days of his tenure, Rau plans to meet with garrison leaders and directors of partner organizations to determine "what's working and why and what needs improving and why"
While Rau said it is a bit too early to state his vision for his tenure, Jacobs said Team Meade is Rau's focus.
"He sees himself as a vital part of Team Meade," Jacobs said.
A native of Michigan, Rau and his wife, Kathy, have two children and three grandsons. His father, Raymond Rau, was a World War II Bataan Death March survivor and a prisoner of war for 36 months.
The Bataan Death March was a forcible transfer of 78,000 American and Filipino POWs by the Japanese Imperial Army after the three-month Battle of Bataan in the Philippines in World War II.
Rau served in the Marine Corps from 1971 to 1974 and then re-entered military service as an Army chaplain in 1988. During his break in service from the Marines, Rau pursued a bachelor's degree in religion and psychology from Michigan State University and a Master of Divinity degree in theology and counseling from Concordia Theological Seminary in Fort Wayne, Ind.
After his seminary studies, Rau ministered two congregations in Lexington and Winchester, Ky., before entering the Army chaplaincy.
Rau said he was called by God to serve as an Army chaplain and that his father's faith during the war also inspired him. The satisfaction of helping people work through problems and overcome obstacles is what is most rewarding about his work, he said.